RIFLE — Fourteen residences about 3 miles from the Kum & Go convenience store in south Rifle were without water most of Monday and until 5:15 a.m. Tuesday after a tanker truck hauling water thought to be a byproduct of natural gas production slid and spilled its contents on Beaver Creek Road near the city’s water treatment plant.
The truck, from Summit Trucking, was hauling the water for Memorial Resources, according to Kirby Wynn, oil and gas liaison for Garfield County. The truck apparently slid and tipped on its side on an icy road, according to Wynn.
The so-called produced water comes from oil and gas production and is removed from the ground. Wynn said in an email that samples were taken at the site to determine “what was in the water that spilled from the tanker, to define the extent of the spill and to inform the cleanup process.”
Rifle city officials said none of the tanker’s water ran into Beaver Creek, but water was shut off to the homes as a precaution.
The driver, Stephen Bedford, 54, of Grand Junction, escaped with minor injuries in the accident at about 9 a.m. and was not ticketed, the Colorado State Patrol said. The truck’s trailer slid off the road first and rolled, CSP said, ultimately causing the cab to tip over.
At least a couple of nearby residents have concerns about potential water contamination and the effect it might have on their livestock …
According to an article in today’s Daily Sentinel:
… The city said employees of the trucking company had dug berms and placed protective structures to protect the stream before emergency personnel arrived.
Kirby Wynn, Garfield County’s oil and gas liaison, said proper notifications were made about the spill, including to state oil and gas and health and environment agencies.
The city has a watershed protection ordinance that governs oil and gas operations, and Bullen said the industry also has purchased equipment that monitors Beaver Creek and automatically shuts down city diversions if contaminants are detected …
Rifle city official Kimberly Bullen and State Patrol Trooper Eric Miller “both said they heard that perhaps 1,000 gallons of fluid had spilled. Some of the tanker’s contents didn’t spill and were removed and shipped from the scene.”
Today’s PI —
… The so-called produced water results from oil and gas production and is removed from the ground in the process. Wynn said in an email that samples were taken at the site to determine “what was in the water that spilled from the tanker, to define the extent of the spill and to inform the cleanup process” …
Gosh, if they ever figure out what’s in that water, I sure do hope they tell us!